Harry Ricketts

Half Dark

ISBN: 9780864739841

February 2015

‘When I grow up, I want to be
the man who says “Mind the gap”.’
Down the years how your voice,
that phrase, have haunted me.

In his new collection, Harry Ricketts addresses the people and places that fill a life and the gaps they leave behind. These are poems of friendship, romance, youth, and moments that still glow or ache decades after. Half Dark is tender, funny, sad, and deftly crafted from the splinters and spaces of the past.

Harry Ricketts teaches English literature and creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington. He has written and edited more than twenty-five books, including literary biographies, personal and critical essays, and poetry. His previous poetry collection is Just Then.

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1 Review

Maureen Sudlow 26th Mar 2015

Half Dark

I was drawn to buy this book simply by the poem ‘Gap’ which I read in a review by Paula Green, and I was not disappointed. Harry Ricketts uses a simplicity and sparseness in his writing that still manages to be evocative and draw the reader in to find their own interpretations. One stanza from ‘Othona, 1978’… parked cars, sleeping ducks, the bare chapel still almost a barn, sees only the spear- point of the fixed stars, shudders’ …contains a descriptiveness and feeling that goes deeper than the words, and the impact is enhanced by the line break in the middle of ‘spear-point’. I love the fact that this skilled poet does not speak down to his readers or hide behind clever obscurities. Any reader will be able to enjoy this book. I had been trying to find a good description for the sound of the cicadas that manages not to be hackneyed – and Harry has described this sound so well in his poem ‘Wellington’ – cicadas click-click their castanets. I could quote from many of these well-crafted poems, but hesitate to spoil the enjoyment for future readers. I am still enjoying dipping into this book, and would strongly recommend it.

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